As part of its ‘Inside BBC Journalism’ series the BBC College of Journalism has made a short film with documentary maker Martin Small to explain the role of a documentary producer. He talks a bit about the technical side of things, about creating a storyline and turning “a journalistic story into a dramatic story” through “all kinds of dramatic devices” (I think we know what he means there – e.g. the playing of scary-sounding music to signpost bad things such as climate sceptics or an Israeli flag.)
The college’s website also provides a transcript [pdf] of its interview with Small, and it’s amusing to note that his final piece of advice didn’t make the film:
It is only television, and somebody once said to me: ‘If a bus driver fails to turn up to work one morning it’s really, really inconvenient, and bad news for the people standing at the bus stop. They may get very wet; they may get very cold; they may turn up to work late; they may get in trouble with their bosses. But if you make a television programme which isn’t perfect, never mind, there’s one on after you.‘
Evidently someone at the BBC College thought that particular insight was better left on the cutting room floor.